No half measures for Teeling
TEN MONTHS after selling Cooley Distillery to Beam for $95 million, the Teelings are back in the whiskey business.
Or more precisely Jack Teeling. The former managing director of Cooley this week launched the Teeling Whiskey Company.
Its first product is a hybrid malt whiskey. It’s a combination of a single malt from Cooley and a 10-year old single malt whisky from Bruicladdich in Scotland.
It’s a limited edition brand, with just 1,200 bottles for sale.
Teeling, who netted about €3 million personally from the sale of Cooley, told me this week that he also has plans to launch a poitín, a single malt and a blended Irish whiskey.
“They’ll come out for next year,” he said.
He also has ambitions to establish a distillery in Dublin, birthplace of Jameson but where no production of Irish whiskey currently takes place.
“We’ve had a look at a number of sites and we think there’s a gap in the market. We have a couple of irons in the fire that we’re trying to progress but it’s not easy.”
The capital costs would be between €8 and €10 million for site acquisition, the kit to distil, maturation facilities and inventory.
Ironically, Teeling’s new business would seem to put him in competition with his brother Stephen, who moved with Cooley to Beam to become global marketing director for Irish whiskey.
“Not really,” Jack says. “We’re not going to compete with the likes of Beam and Irish Distillers.
“There’s an opportunity for independents to capture a bit of attention and business.
“We’ll be doing things in a different way.”